A company does not become a great place to work overnight or by accident. It takes a carefully created and executed plan to build a culture employees love — which is exactly what Qualbe’s CEO set out to do when he started his own company.

Having experienced the pain of working in demotivating and uninspired environments, Randy was determined to create a fun, engaging culture within his own company. He believed in the value of treating people with respect, which tops the list of what employees value in a great place to work.

Respect in the workplace means trust. Employers demonstrate trust by giving employees engaging, challenging work and actively seeking their feedback. This kind of respect creates win/win scenarios for the company and employees.

Randy always believed a culture of respect would pay off — and it has. Qualbe has been honored with several recent awards, including Best Ethics by The Dallas Morning News in 2016 and a spot on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies. We believe that a supportive and employee-oriented atmosphere is critical to being able to grow and expand as a business.

Want to build your own award-winning company culture? Here is the path Qualbe took to success:

Define Core Values

We’ve all worked at companies with “core values” on the wall that did not match the employer’s actual practices. True core values are not just a nice list created by a few guys in the C-Suite.

Qualbe’s values were crafted and approved by the company’s employees, not handed down from the top levels. As a result, the employees own, believe in and universally accept the core values.

Here are the values that Qualbe employees chose:

  1. Respect others as inherently valuable
  2. Be teachable – never stop learning
  3. Have fun!
  4. Form clear, open and honest relationships
  5. Build positive, proactive and loyal teams
  6. Be innovative and take responsible risks
  7. Work hard to achieve goals
  8. Accomplish more with less
  9. Be humble
  10. Always do the right thing

Post the Core Values

This is the easy part. But don’t forget to do it!

You can start by giving each new employee a t-shirt with the company logo, awards and core values listed on the back. In our case, the front of the shirt says, “I am Qualbe.” We want employees to have a sense of belonging and pride when they wear their shirts. Research shows that in a healthy company culture, employees feel that their purpose and potential in their role fit and enhance their identity.

We also showcase our core values in posters around the office (created by employees, of course) and cards that employees display on their desks. Currently, we are also in the process of creating a wall mural in the break room. Some Qualbe employees even created a cheesy video to show what #3. Have Fun! Is all about.

Posting your core values in various creative ways keeps every employee mindful of what your company values, celebrates and rewards.

Make the Core Values a Performance Requirement

Qualbe expects all employees, from C-level to entry level, to contribute to the culture as part of their work performance. These skills are factored into performance evaluations just like other business goals. This type of evaluation creates a sense of self-responsibility and caring that our employees feel is unparalleled by any other organization.

As Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., previous chairman of the board of IBM, famously wrote, “People do what you inspect, not what you expect.” If you care about your organization’s culture, you will measure employees’ character and behavior just as much as their technical performance.

Integrate the Core Values into Your Organization’s DNA

By modeling the core values in the leadership and encouraging employees to live up to the ten core values, we are instilling integrity, a strong work ethic and a healthy attitude. The results speak for themselves.

At Qualbe Marketing Group, we have created an environment that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Because we genuinely embody our ideals, clients are satisfied, employee morale is high and management is focused.

Your company can also build a healthy culture through creating core values that your organization embodies and that your employees own.

Which ideals does your company embody? What values would you like it to embody in the future?

Show how much you respect and trust your employees by asking them which core values they would choose.

Make sure that what you say you expect is also what you inspect. You’ll be amazed how engaged your employees become when they are both empowered and expected to shape and protect your company’s culture.

Need help getting started?

Download Our Core Value Checklist